Monday, February 13, 2012

Spotlight on Mom -- Christine Krogue, Creator of Baby Undersocks

I wish I had known about baby undersocks when Savannah was younger.  Between 8-10 months, she went through a stage where she would pull off her socks throughout the day.  I would turn my head for a second to reach for her shoes, and by the time I had them in my hand to put on her, her socks were off, and she was laughing.  I can't tell you how many socks are still missing, as she has pulled them off in the car, while in her stroller, and playing around the house.  Thanks to Christine Krogue, creator of the baby undersocks, and this week's Spotlight Mommy, she has solved the problem many moms face of their child pulling their socks off, thus exposing their little feet and legs to the elements.  Baby undersocks slide on in seconds, keeping your child's feet and legs warm, all while preventing your little one from pulling them off.  How great is that?  I love how mom entrepreneurs like Christine solve problems that many mom face, even minor ones like trying to keep socks on your little on.

Please enjoy my interview with Christine Krogue, inventor of baby undersocks.

Name:  Christine Krogue
Company Name/Product/Service:  Baby Undersocks
Company Location: Utah
Company Website:
Twitter Handle: @babyundersocks
Age of Company:  6 months
Favorite Book: The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

Tell us a little bit about yourself.  How many children do you have?  What are their ages? Your hobbies? Etc.
I've been married for 11 years and have 4 children, all boys, including a set of identical twins.  My twins are 8, my middle son is 4, and my baby is 1.  I have a BA in Marketing and a minor in Japanese, but haven't worked outside the home since becoming a SAHM to my twins.  I love learning new things, especially things related to child development and psychology.

Briefly explain your business.  How did it come about?
One day I was thinking about how my baby boy Jackson always had cold feet and it was getting to be a problem since it was winter. He would constantly pull his socks off, and even on the rare occasions he would keep them on, his ankles would get cold because of the gap between his socks and pants. Those darn pants would always ride up in the car seat, stroller, or wrap carrier. I started keeping Jackson in sleepers all the time, because they kept his legs and feet warm--but I was bummed I wasn’t using all the cute outfits he had been given and sometimes a sleeper just wasn’t the right outfit, esp when we went to parties or church.  

After thinking about it some, I decided that a fitting, one-piece pant undergarment, with socks attached, would be the perfect cold-weather item to keep my baby’s lower body warm. This way, he could wear his normal cute outfits, and still have the stylish look of socks, while his legs and feet stayed perfectly cozy. Having the pants and socks be one long attached piece would keep body heat from escaping through gaps.

I then researched fabrics and decided that a bamboo thermal would be the perfect material to make the underpants out of, as it is very smooth and soft against a baby’s sensitive skin, as well as highly breathable, moisture wicking, and antibacterial. Its also a temperature regulator, so baby won't get cold nor too warm! Not to mention bamboo is also very eco-friendly, as it is one of the most sustainable crops on earth. 

Taking all my ideas together, and with a little help from a garment pattern maker, Baby Undersocks was born. I tried them on my son as soon as the first pair was made, and I was so happy not to worry about cold little feet and legs anymore.

What is a typical work day like?
I usually spend my day taking care of my kids--getting the older ones off to school, and taking care of the younger ones at home.  When my 4 year old is at preschool and my 1 year old is napping, I fit in checking orders, working on the website, and marketing.  During the evenings and weekends, when my husband is home, I package orders and then schedule USPS to pick them up in the morning.

What has been a struggle while starting up your company?  

Getting the word out.  No one has heard of Baby Undersocks, and its hard to cut through the noise and get people to notice a new business. 

What did you do in your past work life? 


What have been some of your major successes?  

Listing on amazon and getting a lot of sales from it.  Thank goodness for amazon.  It was also exciting to do a sale with Baby Half Off, and watch many of my styles sell out within a few hours.

What have been some of your major challenges?  

When I first started, I had quite a few days with no sales.  I still have those days now, but they are becoming much fewer and fewer.  Its discouraging when there is a day when no one buys your product.

On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?  

I look at my baby Jackson, who is always wearing his undersocks now that its winter, and realize that my product is useful and helps keep babies comfy.  I also reread "fan" emails that I have gotten from customers, thanking me for making Baby Undersocks and telling me why they love them.

What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?  

I plan on growing my business slowly, so I don't stress about family or business too much or get in over my head.

What is next for your business?  

I am going to expand my sizes to include up to 2T.

Do you have any advice for other mom entrepreneurs that are starting out and struggling, or are on the fence about starting a business?   

Do your research and make sure its a viable product. Not every idea can be a profitable one.  I have several ideas that I discarded before settling on Baby Undersocks.

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